If you have a child that is struggling with math, you know that sitting them down in front of a textbook or worksheet likely isn’t going to improve their attitude towards the subject. Fortunately, learning new math skills doesn’t have to be boring – in fact, it can be downright fun!
Math games will keep your kids engaged and interested. Work the games naturally into their playtime for a fun way to explore the world of math. Try these eight simple math games that your kids are sure to love.
1. Guess the number
To get kids thinking about multipliers and other fun strategies to add, divide, multiply and subtract, play the “Guess what number I am thinking of?” game. Have your child think of a number between 1 and 20, and then ask them questions about what the number is, like “Can I divide it equally in two?”.
Once your child’s skills get better, make the number between one and one hundred. Take turns both thinking up a number and asking questions to arrive at an answer.
2. Play grocery store
Set up a grocery store in your kitchen or living room and give them a fixed amount of money to pay for groceries. They will have to practice adding and subtracting as they choose which items they want to bring to the checkout.
More advanced learners can play the cashier, responsible for adding up the items, calculating discounts from coupons, and adding sales tax to the total.
3. Money matters
Use the coins around your house to count up how much money there is around. For extra incentive, tell your child that if they can count how much money the coins add up to, then they can keep the spare change!
4. Fantasy sports math
If you have a little sports fan who is a bit anxious about their math skills, have them compile the statistics of players and set up their fantasy team to compete with your team. You can focus on the basics, like goals or touchdowns, or dive into more advanced statistics.
5. Finding shapes
This game is a little more abstract then basic mathematics, but essential for the beginnings of spatial thinking and geometry. Have your children explore the house and find as many different shapes as they can. They can either take a picture or draw each shape they discover.
Don’t limit the game to just squares and triangles – you can also include some rhombus and trapezoid shapes to find. If you are traveling, make it a road trip game and get the whole family involved!
6. Cooking fun
Make some cookies using only one or two measuring tools. For example, you can limit your children to a tablespoon and a half-cup measuring tool, forcing them to convert measurements to the two units they have available.
Another option is to work with your child to double or half a recipe – let them choose their favorite treat so they have a tasty reward at the end of their math practice!
7. Make a map
Find a hidden treasure in your home using a map to guide their way. Indicate things like “ten steps to the right,” and use language like rotate 90 degrees. Combine all the ways that you can use math to direct someone from one place to another.
8. Play online games
Sometimes children learn better when you give them a little independence. Check out a vast array of cool math websites where your child can hop on and hone their math skills.
If you have a child who is struggling in math, turn their anxiety into laughter and fun while helping them become more comfortable with the basics of mathematics. The more you can bring math into the real world and have some fun with it, the easier math will be for them during school.
Stratford School is committed to using fun, real-world situations to teach integrated mathematics. To learn more about our innovative STEAM curriculum, take a guided tour today!
Stratford School – Altadena, 2046 Allen Ave., Altadena, (626) 794-1000 or visit www.stratfordschools.com/find-your-campus/altadena.